ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1919: American-born Lady Nancy Astor elected as the 1st female member of the British House of Commons.
The Associated Press (AP) reporter behind the outlet’s now-retracted story about “Russian missiles” has been fired.
The article had erroneously claimed that a “senior U.S. intelligence official” said “Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.”
The outlet took the article down the following day, replacing it with an editor’s note that informed readers that “subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.” Before the retraction was issued, the bogus report was widely shared and cited by countless news outlets.
On Monday, AP fired James LaPorta, the investigative reporter responsible for the story, according to the Daily Beast.
The article, which was co-written by LaPorta and John Leicester (who still works at the AP), attributed the information to a single “senior U.S. intelligence official,” despite the outlet’s rule that it “routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous.”
The AP allows for only one exception — when “material comes from an authoritative figure who provides information so detailed that there is no question of its accuracy.” But evidently, this incident did not fit the criteria, as the outlet fully retracted the report.
“The rigorous editorial standards and practices of The Associated Press are critical to AP’s mission as an independent news organization. To ensure our reporting is accurate, fair and fact-based, we abide by and enforce these standards, including around the use of anonymous sources,” an AP spokesperson told the Daily Beast.
Source: The Daily Beast